Head of Zelensky's faction: Many MPs want to resign but parliament doesn't let them

Numerous Ukrainian lawmakers are expressing a desire to resign from their positions prematurely, as revealed by David Arakhamia, the head of President Volodymyr Zelensky's Servant of the People faction, during a televised interview on December 11. Arakhamia noted that some members of parliament are hesitant to permit these resignations, emphasizing the urgency of passing critical legislation for the nation.

The resignation process for Ukrainian Members of Parliament (MPs) involves submission followed by majority approval or rejection by their peers. According to the non-profit organization Chesno, a record 17 lawmakers, predominantly affiliated with the pro-Russian Opposition Platform-For Life party, have had their mandates revoked since the commencement of the full-scale Russian invasion. Notably, scheduling elections in these districts during wartime is unfeasible.

Prior to February 2022, Ukraine's parliament was already grappling with a shortage of 27 members due to the suspension of elections in Russian-occupied areas of Donbas and Crimea during the 2014 and 2019 elections. Presently, the parliament, designed for 450 members by law, operates with 400 members, impacting its functionality.

Arakhamia and fellow lawmakers have proposed amending parliamentary rules to establish a minimum faction size of 14 members, a move aimed at supporting smaller factions and addressing the challenges posed by the current shortfall of members. While experts suggest that the shortage has not critically impeded the parliament's ability to vote on vital issues, discussions about potential rule changes continue.

Missile downed over Kryvyi Rih in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast

Ukrainian air defense forces successfully intercepted a Kh-59 cruise missile over the Kryvyi Rih district in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast at approximately 3 p.m. local time, as reported by the Dnipro-based Operational Command East on Facebook on December 11. Local correspondents noted "repeated sounds of explosions" in Kryvyi Rih around the same time.

Details regarding potential damage from this interception have not been released, but a missile downed over the city on December 9 caused damage to a local business premises and two vehicles, with no reported injuries or fatalities.

Russia has been consistently deploying Kh-59 cruise missiles, with a range of approximately 200 kilometers, to target civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. The U.K. Defense Ministry reported a recent escalation in Russia's concentrated campaign against Ukraine's energy infrastructure, coinciding with the country's preparations for a challenging winter.

In a separate incident, Ukrainian forces successfully downed all 18 Shahed "kamikaze" drones and eight ballistic missiles launched by Russia overnight, according to the Air Force's report on December 11.

Blockade at one Poland-Ukraine border crossing lifted

The blockade at the Dorohusk-Yahodyn crossing on the Polish-Ukrainian border has been successfully lifted, and truck movement has resumed, according to Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov's announcement on December 11. Dorohusk-Yahodyn was one of the four checkpoints blocked by Polish protesters protesting the EU's liberalization of transit rules for Ukrainian carriers.

Kubrakov shared the news on social media, stating that stable truck transit has been restored since 2 p.m., with several vehicles passing in both directions. Talks between the Infrastructure Ministry and Ukraine's embassy in Poland at various levels have contributed to resolving the blockade issue. Kubrakov emphasized that while progress has been made, the complete unblocking of the border remains the goal.

Polsat News reported that a Polish mayor intervened to halt the blockade at the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing, expressing concerns about its impact on local jobs. However, protesters indicated that they were awaiting details of the mayor's order and planned to appeal.

Protests persist at the Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska, Medyka-Shehyni, and Uhryniv-Dolhobychuv crossings. Talks between Ukraine and Poland on December 1 facilitated the passage of empty trucks through the Uhryniv-Dolhobychuv checkpoint.

Despite the progress at Dorohusk-Yahodyn, there has been no information from Poland about unblocking the remaining checkpoints. Polish truckers initiated the blockade, alleging that a significant number of Ukrainian drivers were undercutting local businesses by transporting goods from Poland to other countries at lower prices. Ukrainian officials and industry representatives dispute these claims.

Slovak and Hungarian truckers have also joined the protests, intermittently blocking border crossings between Slovakia and Ukraine, with Hungarian carriers announcing their participation in the blockade starting December 11.